A message on behalf of Michael Merchant, Commissioner, City of Chicago, 

Department of Buildings:


June 28, 2012


Dear Architecture and Design Professionals:


As you are aware, the Department of Buildings has announced its transition from a paper-based plan review system to an electronic plan review system (E-Plan). This communication is to give you some updates regarding E-Plan review.


E-Plan Full Rollout Monday, July 2

As stated in prior communication, E-Plan will be the fully implemented for all Standard Plan Review projects and Self-Certification projects on Monday, July 2, 2012.


As you are aware, E-Plan has been fully implemented for Developer Services projects since Jan. 2, 2012. E-Plan has been optional for Standard Plan Review projects and Self-Certification projects since June 4, 2012; as of July 2 it will be fully implemented (required) for Standard Plan Review.


Please Note: All Standard Plan Review or Self-Certification intake appointments scheduled with the Department of Buildings for July 2, 2012 or later are no longer necessary and are cancelled. All plans should be submitted electronically through E-Plan without an intake appointment. If you do have an intake appointment already scheduled and you feel you have a hardship case that requires keeping your appointment, please emailThe Department of Buildings will review these requests on a case by case basis.


E-Plan Orientation and Event Feedback

On May 30 and 31, 2012 over 600 design professionals attended our E-Plan orientation sessions. We are grateful to everyone who attended and provided constructive feedback and to AIA Chicago for hosting these sessions. We are pleased to announce that we have already incorporated some of the suggestions mentioned during these sessions into E-Plan and are exploring other suggestions moving forward.


The primary suggestion from the design community was allowing the submission of plans in PDF format. We worked with our vendor and are pleased to announce that plans can be submitted through E-Plan in either DWF or PDF format as of July 2, 2012. 


Please Note: Applicants must be consistent on the file format they choose for the project.  For instance, if the initial drawings are submitted in PDF, all subsequent drawings, including corrected and supplemental drawings, for that project must also be in PDF. Alternating between DWF and PDF for the same project will not allow the system to properly version the drawings.


E-Plan Tools and Assistance

For those of you that feel they need to become more acquainted with E-Plan, we invite you to review the following resources:


1)   Click here for the E-Plan User Guide


2)   Click here for the E-Plan introductory video 


3)   Click here for the full video of one orientation session 



E-Plan Orientation Classes Mondays July 2, 9 and 16

If you feel you need additional assistance, DOB will be conducting a series of E-Plan orientation sessions on Monday afternoons. 


The first three dates have been set for Mondays July 2, July 9 and July 16, 2012. There will be two sessions on each date.  Sign-in times and class times will be the same for these three dates.


E-Plan Review Orientation, Mondays July 2, July 9 and July 16, 2012



Class Time

Class 1

1:00 pm

1:15 - 2:45 pm

Class 2

2:45 pm

3:00 - 4:30 pm


Event Location:   30 North LaSalle Street

                              2nd Floor - CDOT Conference Center

                              Conference Room C

                              Chicago, Illinois


Registration: Space is limited to 25 individuals per class, so we ask that only one or two members of your firm attend.  You can register here


Please note we will continue to hold orientation sessions on Mondays provided there is a need from the design professional community. Keep a lookout for future correspondence and class times.


Benefits of Using E-Plan

Unlike the current paper system, E-Plan allows for several cost and time saving efficiencies to you and your customers including:


  • Submission of plans electronically from the convenience of your office, 24 hours 7 days a week;
  • Simultaneous review of the plans by all professional and trade disciplines;
  • City reviewer mark-ups are made directly on the plans to provide direction and clarity as to any items which require correction;
  • Re-submission of corrected plans electronically from the convenience of your office; and
  • Real-time return of your approved stamped plans once the fees are paid.


Again, we look forward to working with you as we offer this exciting time and cost savings initiative to you and your customers. If you have any questions regarding E-Plan please email us.